An exclusive account of the repressive conditions of Britain’s notorious “Control Order” (‘Section 1 PTA allows the Home Secretary to impose any obligation that she, or a Court, “considers necessary for purposes connected with preventing or restricting involvement by that individual in terrorism related activity.’) The wife of Detainee CA recounts the nightmare of her family life unhinged under the specter of constant night raids, debilitating curfews and arbitrary restrictions including forced relocation. We thank HHUGS for allowing us a glimpse into the secretive enactment of this oppressive legislation.
My husband is one of the few British men issued a control order lasting 20 months, known only as CA for anonymity purposes. The experience of living under a Government control order has had a traumatic and lasting effect on us not only as individuals, but also as a young family. This is a slight insight into what our lives have been like during this time and an important reminder about all the families that are still struggling with such an ordeal.
What has failed to be mentioned in regards to the information provided about control orders is how it does not simply restrict and confiscate the liberty-until further notice-of the individual ‘suspected’ of being some kind of threat, but it does the same for the family involved.
From the moment my husband was handed the paper outlining the control order and his relocation over a hundred miles away from our family home (expected to take place in only seven days), the only thing that became increasingly clear was just how unclear the whole system was. This makes the entire experience enormously frustrating, exhausting and unpromising. No factual or comprehensible reason is given except that the Home Office ‘suspects’ this individual to be a threat to National Security. The majority of the information held is secret evidence, addressed and argued in a secret hearing at the High Court with a secret advocate employed for your defence. The advocate cannot discuss anything attended to during the hearing. The court process itself can be extensive not to mention tremendously tense. It appears incredibly surreal to be asked to leave the court room as the doors are locked behind you and your fate is deliberated whilst you and your legal representatives wait outside, unaware of the allegations. Unhopeful seems to be an understatement with regards to the feelings experienced by all those involved.
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